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Moderna CEO Pledges to Give Most of His Wealth Away

Stéphane Bancel, right, and wife Brenda Bancel attend the TIME100 Gala celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Stéphane Bancel, right, and wife Brenda Bancel on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The CEO of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, is currently one of the world's youngest billionaires. This is largely due to his company's efforts to develop, manufacture and market its massively successful COVID-19 vaccine. They plan on giving away a lot of their fortune and hope to inspire others to do the same.

The CEO has a net worth of a whopping $4.1 billion as written on Bloomberg's Billionaires Index

In an interview with Bloomberg on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bancel said, “We’ve told the kids that they get a good education, we take care of that.”

“They’ll get the family house, you know. But the rest we’re going to give away,” he adds.

A Philanthropic Move

As an influential philanthropic figure, Stephane Bancel is planning to join other billionaires in giving back by donating significant portions of his wealth. He's following in the footsteps of some extremely successful philanthropists, such as MacKenzie Scott and Bill Gates.

This can lead to positive changes in the current world and is a great choice on his part.

According to Insider, “The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had an investment of $49.8 billion this past year. MacKenzie Scott, who won her wealth by divorcing former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, has also committed to giving away most of her fortune.”

Scot wrote in the Medium Post, “Our team's focus over these last nine months has included some new areas, but as always our aim has been to support the needs of underrepresented people from groups of all kinds.” She added, “The cause of equity has no sides.”

Fierce Pharma reports: “All told, Bancel expects the move to yield a donation of about $355 million, after some $280 million in state and federal tax payments.”

The founder of Moderna, 49, will allow the company share options to be exercised over the next year and sell them, with all proceeds going towards charity. This could generate around $355 million for that cause.

According to FiercePharma, the biotech’s helmsman said, “Stéphane Bancel, who joined Moderna back in 2013, is cashing out his original stock options in the company for charity.”

Aside from Bancel's stake in the company, he also has 5.4% shares of Moderna through two separate entities.

"We don't need a lot of money, and we want to use the money to help suffering in the world." Bancel said in a separate interview at Davos.

Bloomberg reports, “The Covid-19 vaccine maker’s stock soared to a high of nearly $500 a share in August before losing value amid concern about whether vaccine orders would keep pace. The biotech sector has been declining over that time period.”

Tackling Food Insecurity and Climate Crisis

As the world's oldest living billionaire, Bancel told Bloomberg that he's focusing his time on charitable efforts to help with healthcare and global food security. He hopes to start some joint ventures with his family to focus on these endeavors.

"I love the retail business, but I think it's time for me to shift my thinking and focus on areas that can make a difference," Bancel told Bloomberg.

"The first is global health and then global food security. I'm going to be spending more time on those."Bancel said.

The CEO also wants to do more philanthropically. They have invested in climate-related companies and specifically in Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a company that focuses on nuclear fusion energy.

“One of the reasons Bancel became vegetarian is because his daughter convinced him, citing how much the meat industry contributes to global warming,” reports Bloomberg.

In a blog post, Bancel says that each Thursday, his family will sell 10,000 shares each to help support "private companies trying to have a positive impact on the world: healthcare companies and companies focused on addressing the adverse impact of climate change."

That program is set to run through the end of 2022.

Moderna’s Success Story

Moderna recently hit the jackpot with their Spikevax vaccine. Moderna had been working on the vaccine for six years and it took them another three years to get FDA approval.

$17.7 billion was made in sales of the vaccine, which got FDA approval in late 2020. In order to get there, Moderna had to produce and deliver 800 million doses last year.

Looks like COVID-19 has been a success for Moderna. They are expected to make $21 million this year thanks to that product.

“His pay package increased by 41% to $18.2 million in 2019, while Bancel contributed a significant share in the company's success last year,” according to Fierce.

Before the worldwide pandemic, Bancel was topping Fierce Pharma's rankings of the best-paid biopharma CEOs with $58.6 million in total compensation.

That was the year that Moderna went public. A whopping amount of $604 million was raised in their initial public offering.

 

References

“//.” // - Wikipedia, https://www.forbes.com/profile/stephane-bancel/?sh=4465d69f3742. Accessed 6 June 2022.; Bancel, Stéphane. “Stock Option Exercise and Charitable Giving.” Moderna, 24 May 2022, https://www.modernatx.com/media-center/all-media/blogs/stock-option-exercise-and-charitable-giving. Accessed 6 June 2022.; “Bill and Melinda Gates Divorce: Huge Philanthropy Projects to Continue.” Business Insider, 4 May 2021, https://www.businessinsider.com/biggest-projects-of-generous-philanthropists-bill-and-melinda-gates-2018-8?r=US&IR=T. Accessed 6 June 2022. ; Kansteiner, Fraiser. “Moderna's CEO leverages mRNA success story for charity.” Fierce Pharma, https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/moderna-ceo-bancel-flexes-inaugural-stock-option-give-355m-charity. Accessed 6 June 2022.; Kresge, Naomi. “Moderna CEO Bancel Says He'll Give Most of His Money Away.” Bloomberg.com, 26 May 2022, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-05-26/moderna-ceo-bancel-says-he-ll-give-most-of-his-money-away. Accessed 6 June 2022.

Scott, MacKenzie. “Helping Any of Us Can Help Us All | by MacKenzie Scott | Medium.” MacKenzie Scott – Medium, https://mackenzie-scott.medium.com/helping-any-of-us-can-help-us-all-f4c7487818d9. Accessed 6 June 2022.

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